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Scottsdale PD using alert system to protect K-9 officers

Scottsdale PD K-9 Marco anxiously waits to be released and get a chance to attack Sports 620 KTAR's John Gambadoro at Holiday Heroes at AMF Scottsdale Lanes, Wednesday, December 16, 2009. (KTAR)

PHOENIX — With news of another K-9 officer death in Oklahoma after an air conditioning malfunction in a police cruiser, a Valley police agency says it’s got a system in place to avoid having police dogs left behind in hot cars.

Scottsdale Police Sgt. Ben Hoster said every K-9 patrol car in the city is equipped with a special alert system to warn K-9 handlers in just such an event.

“If the A-C turns off or the vehicle shuts off (and) the temperature rises; the alarm goes off,” he said.

The system also works to keep dogs cool until the handler can return, Hoster said.

“The rear windows where the dog is will go down, internal fans will turn on, the engine horn will activate, the emergency lights will go on and a page will be sent to the K-9 handler if he is away from the vehicle,” he said.

Hoster said backup systems such as these are another line of defense against the heat should something in the car go wrong He said the system could help save the lives of the department’s police dogs.

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